As the war in Ukraine enters its second month, an angry and frustrated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took aim at the West in a video recorded late Saturday. He demanded tanks, fighter jets and missile defense systems.
He said he is asking for just 1 percent of NATO’s current stockpiles of aircraft and tanks. “And we have already been waiting for 31 days. So, who is running the Euro-Atlantic community? Is it still Moscow, because of threats?” he told his supporters in the clip below.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy demanded more military hardware, including tanks and planes, from the West, and questioned whether NATO is intimidated by Moscow https://t.co/opjIqmmmhW pic.twitter.com/6RB28014Mq
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 27, 2022
Is it just me, or does Zelensky seem to be making a lot of demands on the west? What do we owe him, exactly? https://t.co/Dirau8qI1c
— Joe Canada 🇨🇦 (@JoeCanada4Life) March 27, 2022
The Associated Press reported he disparaged the West’s “ping-pong about who and how should hand over jets” and other critical weapons.
Zelenskyy firmly believes Putin will not be satisfied with taking only Ukraine. Once he has gained control of Ukraine, he will merely pivot to the next European country.
“I’ve talked to the defenders of Mariupol today,” Zelenskyy said about Ukraine’s hardest hit city. “I’m in constant contact with them. Their determination, heroism and firmness are astonishing. If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had 1 percent of their courage.”
The Ukrainian president also accused the U.S. and NATO of being “afraid to prevent this tragedy. Afraid to simply make a decision.”
“Our partners must step up their aid to Ukraine.”
On Saturday, Reuters spoke with Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Colonel Yuri Ignat who said his country’s pilots have spent years training with their U.S. counterparts because “we understood that there could be such a scenario.”
“We are fighting with the equipment of the ’70s and ’80s; they are fighting with the equipment of 2010 and later,” he said. “We would be grateful for the Soviet-made equipment offered to us by the countries of Central Europe which still have it. But it will not be enough.”
Ignat told Reuters Ukraine needs fighter jets to defeat the Russians. “We would also like to have Western planes, such as F15, F16. We don’t ask for anything more, like the F35.”
How did the offer of Poland’s MiG29s turn into F15s and F16s?
We all understand Zelenskyy’s and Ignat’s frustration. The MiGs and some heavy armor would help the Ukrainians immensely. The Biden administration was slow to deliver weapons, and it is possible the invasion could have been prevented entirely if it had been handled differently.
On the other hand, NATO has already provided massive support to the Ukrainians and that will continue. Two weeks ago, Congress passed a $13.6 billion aid package for Ukraine.
Zelenskyy has shown tremendous courage throughout the atrocities of the past month. What is happening to his country is tragic. But a direct war between NATO and Russia would be a calamity.
Accusing the West of cowardice is not helpful. Perhaps he should dial down his rhetoric.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.